Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from August 2013.


A group here in Basingstoke started collecting blanket squares so that they could coat the market square at the top of town. I made this adorable square – that was very me, so I’d recognise it:

When the squares went up, I was expecting to have to search for hours to find my little patch, but then, as I walked down the little path from the bus stop to the square, I saw this!

There I am! I tried to get pictures of the whole event, but it was market day, and everything was blocked. But they did a really good job. Several lamp posts, all the trees, a few benches. All covered in a patchwork of brightly coloured knitted and crocheted squares.

I really should have gone back another day to get pictures, and if I hadn’t found mine right away I probably would have done. But here are some other pictures I found online.

(From The Daily Basingstoke Facebook page.)

(From this blog.)

And here are a load of pictures from the people that ran the event 🙂  You can actually see my little square (justabout) in one of those.

My First Art Show

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from May 2015.


Some of the different neighbourhoods in Basingstoke hold yearly festivals, and the one most local to me decided to add a “county fair” style competition to their festival this year.

There were categories for photography, art and baking. I was really interested in the baking but don’t have reliable kitchen facilities at the moment, so maybe next year. But I did decide that I was going to enter a piece of art.

I was very, very nervous when I dropped it off to the organizers. Entering a competition like this was as nerve-wracking as my first craft fair. I was taking something that I had created, something I put my time and effort and soul into, and asking strangers to judge me!


On the day of the festival I popped in to the competition tent to see if I won anything.

There weren’t a lot of entries in any of the contests, but it was a smallish show. There were three entries in the Over 16s Art Contest. Here is 1st place:

2015-05-17 12.28.42

It’s pretty impressive. I like it.

Here’s 2nd place:

2015-05-17 12.28.45

What the hell?!

a) it’s ugly

b) if the definition of “art” is going to be that wide, next year I’m entering half a dead cow

I may not have taken the loss very well. I don’t take rejection very well anyway. I will try again next year though. I haven’t decided about the dead cow yet.

Arty Advent Day 9: Art Resolutions

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

I’ve noticed in the last few weeks that some of the artists I follow on Twitter have been posting their Art Resolutions.

Ummmm… I’m fairly certain I’ve seen posts, but now that I’m scrolling through trying to find some I can’t.  Maybe I imagined it?  It wouldn’t surprise me.  I’m very scatty brained sometimes.

I tried searching for some on Twitter in general and found a few good ones.  Like this one from @Shiroi0015

And this one from @Amylouioc (the three drawings image will make an appearance in a few days)

And I decided that art resolutions are something I’d like to have.  I’m really pleased with my progress so far, but there’s lots I want to work on.  So here they are:

1) Have less drawings floating in the middle of white nothingness

I have a habit of drawing something in the centre of a page, and not filling in the background at all.  I’ve done a couple with strips of washi tape, and a few random shapes, but that’s it.  I don’t necessarily want to give everything a full detailed setting, but less white nothingness would be good.

2) Practice digital drawing

As mentioned the other day, I’ve been venturing into the world of digital editing and colouring, but I still can’t draw.  I want to practice more with the tablet I have, and I might be getting a new tablet/laptop thing at some point.  That’ll help.

3) Finish some of the million half-started pieces I have

I have Startitis as badly with art as I do with every other craft I have.  I think I currently have more than 50 art WIPS (works in progress).  They include challenges that I want to turn into decent pieces, sketches that I want to ink and colour, complicated pieces that I ran out of energy to finish and bad pieces that I want to redo.

4) Have a go at using different mediums – like paints

I do have various paints.  Different types of watercolours, and some acrylics I think.  But I’ve always resisted using them because I have horrendous brush control.  But I used to think I couldn’t draw too, so maybe my brush control isn’t as bad as I think.

5) Try and do some collaborations

There are some challenges that I’ve noted down from YouTube videos and blog posts that I’d like to try, but some of them require a partner.  Like a line art swap, or someone picking my subject/mediums for me.  Until recently I haven’t had any artist friends besides Cayden, but I’m gradually building a network thanks to Twitter and Twitch.

Do you have any art resolutions? Or craft resolutions?  I have some general craft and life resolutions, but this is an ARTY advent, so they’ll have to wait.



Arty Advent Day 4: My First Inktober

For December 1st-24th (and possibly a Christmas day bonus), I’ll be posting an art-related blog post every day.  If you visit my blog during this time, let me reassure you that I’m not just an art blog.  I do all the crafts.  You can look through my archives, or stay tuned for future posts, to see the other crafty things I get up to. 

This year I undertook my first Inktober.  For those who don’t know, Inktober was created by Jake Parker in 2009 and it’s a worldwide challenge where artists do one ink drawing a day for the month of October.  Over the years the rules have become more lax.  For a lot of people, Inktober just means doing an art piece – whether that’s ink or pencil or digital art or paint.  And in the last year or two there’s been a prompts list.

When I initially chose to do Inktober I didn’t plan on using the prompts.  I was still very much at the “I can draw monsters and nothing else” phase.  I wasn’t sure I could make things themed, or scenic.  But with some encouragement from my friends I decided I could look at the prompts and see if I could fit one or two of my monsters in.

I ended up getting all 31 to fit the prompts.  Some links are a wee bit tenuous, but they’re there.  I didn’t complete it in time… I finished on November 11th… but I did complete it and that’s a huge thing.  I definitely look forward to doing it again next year.

Raising Thousands For Charity

Desert Bus For Hope 2018 ran for 160 hours and raised more than $730,000 for Child’s Play Charity.

It was an epic run this year, with a lot of really enjoyable moments.  I tried to watch as much as I can, but 160 hours is a really long time and I had to sleep for some of it.  Luckily the awesome Video Strike Team has uploaded nearly every second of it in nice bitesize clips on YouTube so I’ve been catching up on the bits I missed.

Some awesome highlights that I DID catch included them reaching $5,000,000 total raised since they started in 2006.   It was an incredible thing to see them hit that milestone.  In the original run they’d expected to raise about $5000, and planned to be back at work by Monday because they didn’t expect to raise enough for it to go on longer.  They raised $22,805 that first year.  The amount is now forever known as a Desert Buck.

It was even more incredible to hit that milestone knowing that I helped.  In 2016 I donated some hama bead place mats that raised $444.44.  And this year I nearly sextupled that by donating the TARDIS blanket I wrote about a few weeks ago.  Donations were set at $9.99 which means that if anyone donated $9.99 in a set period of time they got one entry into the draw.  Multiples of $9.99 got multiples entries.  The quilt raised $2647.35 which is 265 entries.

2018-09-18 01.25.59

I have a lot of low confidence in my crafts, and seeing that people actually like my work really helps.  Not to mention raising so much money for this awesome charity.





I also helped raise money by entering donation drives.  There were some really awesome prizes up for grabs this year.  I couldn’t afford to enter any of the silent or live auctions, but I entered a few donation drive giveaways.  There was this awesome stained glass Mario piece, donated by someone called Stained Glass Half Full.


There were these beautiful leather Pokemon notebook covers by Sam McKoy.


There were these gorgeous Hogwarts Owls by Blaine/BrainStew.


There was more than a dozen things I wanted to enter for, but I didn’t have too much money so I had to limit myself.  The prizes went up a day or so before the run started and I looked through everything and put the things I wanted in priority order, so I’d know which ones to actually donate for.

The number one item on my priority list was these.


(The donation amount on that is a blip by the way, the donation amount was actually $10.20)

Of course, by sharing that image I might have given away why I’m writing about them.  I won!  Colette0101 is me.

I was severely sleep deprived and barely able to stay wake up long enough for the giveaway to start, so I donated and went back to sleep.  When I woke up I had missed calls and texts from my friends telling me I’d won.  I thought they were joking at first.  I had to go see the clips and the bit on the website before I believed it.

I’m very excited to receive them.  I have a small thing about dice.  I love dice.  I have a lot of them.  But this huge bunch may well double the size of my collection.

In my previous Desert Bus posts I’ve written about my friend Sam’s crafts too.  This year he made this awesome Pulse Rifle.

It was also up for a donation drive and it raised $11,125.20.  ELEVEN THOUSAND!  That’s so much money!

I’m looking forward to next year’s Desert Bus.  I already know what I’m going to make 🙂 I hope I can continue to donate items for the craftalongs for many years to come.  It’s a very worthy cause, not to mention a whole ton of fun.


Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty. I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there. This one was from June 2015.

So, a while ago I got really frustrated and couldn’t focus on any of the projects I had going. So I sat at my computer and sulked for a while, and then I opened Paint.

Do you remember the Paint program? It’s what we all used before Adobe Photoshop. We all used to play around with it, and pretend we were artists. And I’m fairly sure that we’ve all done one of these at some point of another…


But that was just the start of my playing around.


In fact, because I’m me, I got a little carried away.





I even tried to be semi-artistic, instead of just making pretty patterns.

My freehand isn’t too great, especially using a laptop mousepad – most of this is copy and paste.


I wonder how I’d do with a proper mouse, or one of those electronic sketchpad thingies.

I did make this though…


…which I think is pretty cool.

I ended up back at my old favourite though.


Hobbycraft’s Make of the Month Competition

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty.  I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there.  This one was from October 2015.


Whilst browsing the Hobbycraft blog this weekend, I found a Make of the Month competition.  It’s very simple: you upload a photograph of your project, and tell them what inspired you or how you made it.

I submitted this bracelet I made recently:

colette horsburgh halloween wrap bracelet

I made it for my store, but it got bought by a friend before I could even upload it properly.  I do love it.  I’m tempted to make another one for me 🙂

The Make of the Month entry page says a selection will be showcased on the blog.  At the time of writing this post I’m not on the October page, but that might change.  I’ll keep an eye out 🙂

People are invited to comment and share and so forth, so I’m gonna go have a flip through and see if I can find some inspiration.

There are prizes for Make of the Month: £100 Hobbycraft gift card for the winner, and ten runner up prizes of a £10 gift card.  And winning a prize would be great, but I’m loving just entering.


I did make another one.  I didn’t win the competition, then I completely forgot about entering again.  I’ll have to check if they still do them.

Random Craft Quiz – Part 5

I’m getting better at this.  It’s only a month since the last part this time.


41) Have you ever bought craft supplies in bulk?

Quite often.  If you know you’re going to use them, it’s cheaper in the long run.

42) Have you ever participated in a crochet/knit along?

A couple.  I started making Sophie’s Universe a few years ago but couldn’t decide what yarn I wanted to use and decided to make three.  I got distracted and ended up with two small Sophies and a stalled one.  I have since turned the two small ones into cushions…

…and I fully intend to finish the other one at some point.

43) Have you ever completed a year-long project?  (Mood blanket, temperature blanket, etc)

Many projects that have taken more than a year, but no specific year-long project.

44) Knitting, crocheting or both?

Both.  And cross stitch.  And embroidery, and badge making, and beading, and hama beads, and sewing.  I like to say that if I don’t already do a craft it’s probably on my list of crafts to try.  I do a lot of them.

45) Patterns or improvised?

Depends on the craft.  Generally with knitting and crochet I’ll follow patterns.

46) Stick to one project or keep multiple going at once?

Hahahahahahahahahaha!  At last count my list of WIPs was more than 40.

47) Wind new yarn or leave it as it is?

I usually leave it as it is, until it it’s mostly used and collapses into a tangle.  I don’t mind tangles though.  I find untangling them to be quite therapeutic.

48) Buy supplies online or in person?

Online is nearly always cheaper.  We don’t have any Friendly Local Yarn Stores in my area, so there aren’t really any independents to support.

49) Make gauge swatches or hope for the best?

I like to live dangerously.  Rarely make a gauge swatch… although I rarely make projects that really need them.

50) Favourite hook/needle size?

I do 90% of my crochet and knitting with double knit yarn, so usually a 4mm-4.5mm hook/needle.


That’s it!  More than 18 months after I started, I’ve finally finished this random craft quiz.

Many Mini Aliens

Every year since 2009 I’ve assigned myself a yearly challenge, or six.  This year I forgot all about it until about a month ago, when I decided to do a Half-Yearly challenge starting in June instead. Since the challenge I ended up choosing is crafty, I’m writing about it here as well as on my personal blog.

I came up with a few options, then couldn’t narrow it down further.  So I posted on Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry and Reddit asking my friends to pick a number between 1 and 4.  They didn’t know what they were choosing for (something I do quite often), but the options I had written down were:

1) Write a blog post every day.
2) Turn a cloud into a drawing every day.
3) Knit a mini alien a day.
4) Make an origami something a day.

As the votes came in, I realised that making 1 mini alien a day for half a year would result in more than 180 mini aliens.  That’s a LOT.  They sell really well when I do school fairs, but that is still practically an invasion of mini aliens.  So I decided that if that option should win, then I’d make 2 a week instead.

When the voting ended, option 4 had 3 votes, options 1 and 2 both had 5 votes, and option 3 won with a massive 11 votes. So, with the plan to make 2 mini aliens a week, I drew up a page in my bullet journal to keep track of them.  Which is when I realised that the start of June is not the start of the 2nd half of the year.  Bit of a brain blip there.  So I’m doing a Slightly-More-Than-Half-Yearly Challenge instead, and will be making 62 of these adorable little guys…


Origami World Records

The other day I posted about my attempt to make the smallest origami sonobe cube I possibly could, and I promised to follow up and see if anyone had made one smaller than my 1cm one.

My Google-Fu is not strong, but I found this page on Origami-Instructions.com where their users have submitted the smallest cubes they’ve made.  It starts off with a 2cm cube, which made me excited because mine was smaller than that!  It progresses though, and gets down to 4mm!  That’s insanely small.

Note: the page does display a very dodgy looking 3mm entry, but I have to agree with the comments that it looks fake.

I also found this page, on RecordHolders.org which lists a whole bunch of origami related world records.  There isn’t actually an entry for the smallest cube, but there are some other entries that made my brain hurt just thinking about.

For instance, the “Model Folded From Smallest Square”.  0.36×0.3 mm.  MILLIMETERS!!!  Apparently the guy – a watchmaker in Spain – used a 20x magnifier, and the result was about the size of a full stop.  Jeeeeeezzz.

As I said, my Google-Fu is not strong, but I tried finding pictures of the origami piece and all I really found was other sites listing origami records, who used almost an identical paragraph as RecordHolders.org like this one, which also included a photo.


(Semi-Google-Fu skills found no other instance of this photograph online.  That is the exact image size from BritishOrigami.info – I didn’t make it tiny.)  It’s supposed to be a bow tie, but all I see is a square.

I also found a response on a question/answer website which mentioned the photo and didn’t show it, then linked back to the RecordHolders website (which also didn’t have the photo).

I did go to the home of records – GuinnessWorldRecords.com – and set up an account so I could a full search.  They have no record for the smallest origami cube, and no record for the model folded from the smallest square either.  Maybe I should submit my 1cm cube.

As for my best friend Cayden – mentioned in lots of my posts, and in the last one I’m following up on – he isn’t 100% sure but he thinks his smallest cube was made with 1″ paper, which beats me.

He has provided me with a picture he had of some very pretty cubes, but it’s an old image and not taken to prove size so doesn’t have any reference really.  Still – pretty and awesome.


He followed up the next day with two pictures.  The first was this one, with a 13mm cube – I still win.

2018-05-10 13.56.07

And then he sent this one… 8mm.  Cayden wins.


Update: the next morning Cayden sent me this one.


Show off.